Hockey Noir

Hockey Noir; music by André Ristic, words by graphic novelist Cecil Castellucci, is a piece presented by Montreal based ECM+ and brought to Toronto in collaboration with Continuum and The Toronto Comic Arts Festival.  It’s described as a “graphic opera” which I suppose is OK as far as it goes.  I saw it as a theatre piece incorporating, and sometimes parodying, opera, musical theatre, film noir, the graphic novel and animation.  It’s set in the 1950s and riffs off the old tropes of Montreal/Toronto hockey rivalry and the entanglement of local government and organised crime in Montreal.

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Tafelmusik vocal competition

Winner - Kim Leeds

Winner – Kim Leeds

This was a vocal competition with a twist.  The repertoire was all baroque and the prizes were the soloist spots in upcoming performances of Zelenka’s Missa Omnium Sanctorum.  To some extent that dictated the format with three bass-baritones, three tenors and three altos (two mezzos and a countertenor) competing and a prize winner in each triad.  Each singer had to offer the appropriate piece from the Zelenka Mass plus a piece of their choice by each of Bach and Handel.  I did wonder whether I would get through an afternoon of twenty seven baroque vocal pieces but aided by free pizza and cookies I made it.  At least, for once, I was at a singing competition where nobody would be singing Pierrot’s Tanzlied.

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